(Reuters) – U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said on Wednesday he has been “assured” that if workers at the Volkswagen AG plant in his hometown of Chattanooga reject United Auto Worker representation, the company will reward the plant with a new product to build.
Corker’s bombshell, which runs counter to public statements by Volkswagen, was dropped on the first of a three-day secret ballot election of blue-collar workers at the Chattanooga plant whether to allow the UAW to represent them.
“I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga,” said Corker, without saying with whom he had the conversations.
I may not be a legal expert, but that reeks of intimidation to me. How and/or why a sitting Senator would go on record saying such a thing begs a lot of questions. If he’s correct, then VW has been blowing smoke up the collective asses of their workers in Chattanooga because their public position has been in favor of having a works council in that plant. If their position hasn’t changed, then Sen. Corker is lying his ass off in an apparent attempt to sway the vote.
I wonder if Rep. Issa will convene a hearing to investigate this intimidation. Since it doesn’t involve Obama, I seriously doubt he’ll have anything to say about it, much less the US media.